Getting Ready for the 2022 Minnesota Fishing Opener - Visit Grand Rapids Skip to content
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    Getting Ready for the 2022 Minnesota Fishing Opener

    Tom Neustrom, two-time hall of fame angler and professional fishing guide, shares some of things that will help you get ready for Minnesota Fishing Opener set for Saturday, May 14, 2022.

    Fishing Line

    Getting ready for the upcoming season has several little items that you can take care of. How many times have you thought about change the line on your reels which is absolutely a requirement every year. What happens is there is a build up of resin that occurs with monofilament line when you don’t change it each year. It weakens the strength of the line. Now with braided line it is not a requirement to change every year because it doesn’t have the same composition as monofilament. But you should use a monofilament leader when using braided line. That too should be change every season. Its not always important is to strip all your line off, only about 50-75 yards, and then just replace that amount. Many times, when you are fishing numerous trips, it will force you to change your line more than once a year. There has been much discussion about spooling your spinning reels with fluorocarbon. The only problem with that is that there is a little bit more memory in fluorocarbon. It can cause a twisting effect. Therefore, it is good intention to use fluorocarbon for leader material rather than just straight monofilament line. When we attach fluorocarbon or monofilament to a braided line there are two specific knots that will help you to secure. One is a double uni-knot and the second is a saltwater knot called Alberto. Both are good choices when attaching lines together. They are 100% knot strength.

    Fishing Reels

    Especially with spinning reels it is a good idea in every season to the spool off the reel and spray a small amount of gun oil. Gun oil is far thinner than almost any oil that is available. Also check the bail springs to make sure they are still functional. If not, you will need to send the reel in to get it repaired or purchase a new reel, depending on the cost.

    Fishing Rods

    One of the things that is very noticeable throughout the season is that sometimes you will get a shaving out of the line. Most anglers think that it is faulty line that they have purchased. This is not true, most often it is because one of the guides on your line is cracked. Every season you should take a Q-tip and run it on the inside of each guide, and the tip-top, and if any of the cotton sticks, you need to replace. Lot of people do not think about situations such as this. But it will ensure you have good line and the eyelets on your rod are in good working condition. When it comes to cork on the rod most often people don’t pay attention to the wear and tear. Each season you should take a sponge that has a scouring pad on the other side. Soap down the handle of the rod well and clean it with the pad. Rinse it off well, wipe it dry, and just leave it outside for the air to dry it off. It will not only clean up the rod but it will also help with the longevity life of the rod.

    tackle box

    Make sure you check your tackle box and replace all rusted hooks Many times moisture will build up over the weather with changing temperatures whether in your home or garage. It can cause condensation in the box causing some type of rust or erosion of hooks. In most tackle boxes they are sectioned off where you can put hooks in one section, lures in another, and components in another. Make sure that you check each one and discard any that are rusted and replace with new hooks. A handy tool to have in your box is a split ring pliers this allows you to change the treble hook on your lures and is essential. Not a bad idea to also put in your tackle box a dozen band aids in a Ziploc plastic bag to keep the moisture out. That will help if you get a cut or a hook in your finger. Its not a bad idea to include in the band aid bag to include antibiotic cream. Other tools to have in hand are needle nose pliers, and a fingernail clipper to clip your line.

    Bait Systems

    Carrying jigs of different sizes and colors can make a difference. Weights that should be considered 1/16 ounce to ½ ounce jigs for different situations and depths of water. Even though many jigs and such are utilized with live bait and with plastics. In the realm of lures, the jig is probably the most versatile delivery system of all the lures we use. You can fish them at multiple depths and speeds. Changing the cadence is the whole method of using jigs. It is almost like you are creating music with the way that you interpret the jig to look in the water. You want to make it look like something alive to attack into fish biting. There are multiple types of crank baits and basically when you look at the size, the length, and the weight of these style baits it is important that you pay attention also to the size of the lip. That will dictate how deep these crank baits will run. Basically, with the smaller lip is 2-6 feet and they can be interpreted as not only a crank bait but also a jerk bait by changing the cadence. The larger lipped type baits are almost strictly used to reach a deeper depth. Many times, there is a change in that theory when trolling those same crank baits with the amount of line that you let out can alter the depth of how they run. Example, if you are fishing in 20 ft of water with a Northland Rumble Shiner you may want to let out approximately 120 ft of line to reach the depth that you intend to fish. Always remember that the position of fish’s eyes makes them constantly look up and straight ahead rather than down. Most often when you are trolling or casting a crank bait make sure that have a split ring attached to the nose eyelet of the bait. It gives it a better wobble action when trolling, casting, and retrieving. You have a choice to attach your line to the split ring or use a clip so you can change baits often.

    Fishing nets

    Many times, anglers don’t think about their landing net. There has been changes by several companies of the construction of the material of the nets. The better construction has gone to rubberized mesh, so the point of the hook does not penetrate the material. The old-style cotton or cord mesh has been replaced by the rubber mesh that is available by most companies. Take the time to purchase a new net and it will last you a long time. When you go to purchase a new net find one that has extension handle. Many times, you try to reach for a fish that you are attempting to land, and the handle is too short. By spending a few extra pennies on an extendable handle of the net it will pay back dividends when netting a fish.